In virtually every industry, people have access to information about services before they use them. You can find detailed ratings, reviews, and costs before visiting restaurants, booking hotels, or going on vacation.

But when it comes to health care, access to digital information is notably lagging behind. While finding a new dentist, psychologist, or massage therapist should be easy, that’s simply not the case. If you’re new to a city or simply looking for a new health care service, asking for recommendations from colleagues and friends can be uncomfortable and time-consuming, and online searches won’t always provide the most accurate or complete information.

Unlocking greater access for all

Recognizing that Canadians need better ways of connecting with the right care providers, Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada recently launched Lumino Health, a free digital health network. Lumino Health was developed to empower Canadians to take control of their health by providing easy access to a variety of providers. It offers ratings, costs and other information to help patients find a health care resource that suits their needs within seconds.

“In my conversations with Canadian health care leaders, I constantly hear about the need for patients to connect with the right health care providers at the right time,” says Chris Denys, Senior Vice President of Possibilities at Sun Life Financial.

The sentiment is shared by Canadians who have been using the platform. “As an athlete, I’ve used my share of massage therapists, physiotherapists and dentists to help me be my best throughout my playing days,” says Canadian Olympic hockey legend Hayley Wickenheiser. “But now as a busy mom and medical student, Lumino Health makes it so much easier and quicker for me to find everything I need in one place.” The directory has more than six million ratings on various health care providers, gathered from Sun Life clients who have used their services.

Breaking down the barriers to health care

Making the platform accessible to everyone was important for Sun Life. “We want Canadians to lead healthier lives,” Denys explains. “It really leads back to the reasons why we are proud of our health care system in Canada — a system that values fairness, equity, and access.”

Currently, information is available on more than 150,000 health providers, including dentists, massage therapists, chiropractors, psychologists, and more.

“Providing digital health support has so many advantages, but what our clients truly appreciate is the convenience,” says Marion Adams, COO of Hasu eCounselling, a service provider on the site that offers online mental health and substance abuse counselling. “Having access to a therapist on-the-go means that whether you’re at work, school, or at home, you still get the support you deserve.”

Having an online presence ensures the widest possible access to services, and can reduce overhead costs for providers, leading to more affordable solutions for Canadians.

Digital health solutions like Lumino Health widen patient access, ultimately helping Canadians take charge of their own health care.